Bristol Rovers player ratings: Midfielder gets 8/10 but two 5/10s in Charlton win

Bristol Rovers are up and running after substitute Luke McCormick scored on his return to South London.
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Bristol Rovers claimed their first win of the season as they scored in the 97th minute to beat Charlton Athletic 2-1 at The Valley.

Scott Sinclair opened the scoring for the Gas just before the hour mark for his second goal this season, but substitute Daniel Kanu equalised for the Addicks. Rovers’ own substitute though came up with the good as Luke McCormick netted in the seventh minute of seven additional minutes.

In the first meaningful attack of the match, Luke Thomas and Aaron Collins linked up well with a neat exchange before Thomas  played in John Marquis but as he went eye-to-eye with Ashley Maynard-Brewer, his shot was saved.

Charlton began to grow into the game and Alfie May was able to get in between Connor Taylor and Tristan Crama to force a save out of Matt Cox. A second chance quickly followed with Corey Blackett-Taylor sending a low shot just past the post.

In the second-half, Charlton had started the brighter and Cox had several shots to deal with Jack Payne’s deflected shot nearly catching him out. Rovers though hoped to deliver a sucker punch and Marquis went near with a header from Antony Evans’ corner-kick.

The visitors took the lead just before the hour-mark from a set-piece and it was Sinclair again. Evans’ free-kick was saved by Maynard-Brewer but he only palmed it to Collins who squared it to Sinclair to score from a few-yards out.

Rovers searched for a second goal and Sinclair beat the offside trap but not the goalkeeper as his chipped effort went wide of the post. Another chance came after a triple substitution which included the debut of Harvey Vale. Collins was fouled but advantage was played and Marquis rounded the goalkeeper but Lucas Ness blocked well on the line.

Charlton got themselves back on level terms with a calm finish from substitute Kanu. He was threaded through by Karoy Anderson and he slid his effort underneath Cox’s legs.

Rovers pushing to restore their lead nearly got back in front as Collins put a good ball across goal but Vale’s feint touch was cleared off the line. In the latter stages of the match, they received a huge let-off as Crama was caught in possession but May could only hit the post as he raced in at goal.

In the seventh minute of additional time, McCormick sparked jubilant celebrations with a goal. Grant Ward lofted a ball over the top and McCormick waited for it to drop before hitting a clean strike past Maynard-Brewer.

Matt Cox - 6

He was sound between the sticks but there was only one major save of note, which was from May.

Lewis Gordon (subbed off, 63) - 6

Charlton’s wingers found some space in the first-half down the left-flank.

Tristan Crama - 7

Unlucky not to get a clean sheet, but nearly undid all his good work with an error in the last few minutes.

Connor Taylor - 6

Played well in the first half, but he along with Grant lost his man when Kanu found a pocket of space.

Luca Hoole - 6

Some neat bits of skill in the first-half, but Charlton did well down the flanks.

Grant Ward - 8

Put himself about well tonight, and got into Charlton players faces. A good assist for McCormick too.

Antony Evans (subbed off, 83) - 7

He played a deeper role than Saturday but still played a role going forward. His free-kick eventually resulted in Sinclair’s goal.

Scott Sinclair (subbed off, 63) - 7

Two goals in as many games now. He’ll wish his last action of the match though was his chip ending in the net rather than going wide.

Aaron Collins - 7

Difficult first half, but showed good determination to assist Sinclair for the opener. A goal would do him the world of good, but he’ll take an assist.

Luke Thomas (subbed off, 63) - 7

Impressive once again. He was full of running and had a good first-half.

John Marquis - 6

A few chances again but he couldn’t take them. One’s going to have to hit the net at some point.

Josh Grant (subbed on, 63) - 5

Unfortunately didn’t get near to Kanu for Charlton’s equaliser. He took one for the team with a foul as Charlton tried to break through on the counter.

Sam Finley (subbed on, 63) - 6

Missed a tackle in the build-up to Charlton’s goal, but recovered well.

Harvey Vale (subbed on, 63) - 6

Nearly got a goal on his debut but just got his calculations wrong. He did look a handful though, and a it’ll be good to see what he’s like with a few games under his belt.

Ryan Loft (subbed on, 83) - 5

Came on and put himself about, but with so little time, wasn’t able to make an impact.

Luke McCormick (subbed on, 88) - 7

Credit to McCormick. He’s had a difficult few months, but he took his goal well, and thanked his manager in the celebrations.